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Support Marius and the Old Mutual team:  Movember Mo Space More pictures and Mo-tips:  Old Mutual Facebook

Five years ago, Marius Pretorius began his Movember journey without knowing that the small and quirky campaign for the awareness of male-specific cancerswould turn into a worldwide movement, which now also encompasses mental health awareness.

The usually clean-shaven business development manager from Old Mutual says that his first years of growing a moustache over the month of November weremotivated simply by the fun factor.

“Later I realised what it was all about by reading articles, chatting to fellow ‘real Mo Bros’ and actually visiting the Movember site. So, in becominginvolved, I became aware and in becoming aware I became inspired, especially because I could identify with the impact cancer had on people close to me,” heexplains.

Over 2010/11, his father-in-law, whom he deeply respects, underwent treatment for prostate cancer.

“It’s a big thing for a man. The treatment is tough,” he says, adding that it was difficult to see such a healthy, noble man fight the disease.

When it came to raising funds, which are donated by Movember South Africa to various men’s health research and support projects, Marius turned first tofamily and friends for donations, quite rightly assuming that he’d find unwavering support from them.

By 2011, his following had grown so much that he emerged having the most individual supporters of all the Mo Bros in South Africa – even more than MarkShuttleworth, he says. He describes his campaign then as pretty simple: persistently reminding people to join his team and make a donation to the cause. Heeven auctioned half of his moustache. His final tally? R24 590.23 raised for charity.

To Marius, the idea that he’d made a difference to even just one person was enough. It also made him realise that passion is infectious – many of thepeople who chose to support him were doing so because of his own determination to create awareness around testicular and prostate cancers.

Knowing that he’d reached all those in his immediate social circle, he raised his game in 2012, printing business cards detailing his cause and giving themout at every opportunity.

While he did not raise as much as the previous year, 2012 showed him that support in a community is crucial – whether it’s monetary or simply throughfriendship. Sadly, one of his colleagues lost their battle with cancer.

“It’s so important for us to keep sharing with one another,” he says.

This year, he’s vowed to up his game plan, promising an elaborate hotrod-inspired moustache – flames and all – an idea that will most certainly provide thetalking point that he’ll need to recruit more Mo Bros and Mo Sistas.

“Just asked the top hairstylist in Cape Town to sponsor the creation and maintenance of the Hot Rod… hold thumbs that he agrees,” wrote Marius on hisMovember profile, showing that he’s serious about sculpting his facial hair into something quite elaborate this year.

He challenges men to put their egos in their pockets and start getting involved. “It’s time to make a big difference by doing something small,” he says.

Support Marius and the Old Mutual team:  Movember Mo Space More pictures and Mo-tips:  Old Mutual Facebook

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